Loadings of Nigeria’s Qua Iboe crude oil blend has been delayed momentarily due to an inferno at the terminal.
“There was a fire explosion yesterday and liftings have been suspended. I suspect it should be back by end of the week,” said a West African crude trader on Monday.
A representative of ExxonMobil, operator of the Qua Iboe terminal, confirmed the incident but said the energy firm does not “anticipate any impact to operations.”
“On Dec. 13, Mobil Producing Nigeria experienced a fire at the process area of the Qua Iboe Terminal,” said the spokesperson. “The cause of the incident is being investigated. Two individuals were injured, they are receiving medical treatment and we hope for their quick recovery.”
Biggest export grade
Qua Iboe is Nigeria’s biggest export grade and well-known among refiners around the world, with the United States, Italy, India, Spain, Canada, Netherlands, and Indonesia being major buyers.
Production of the key grade has ranged from 180,000 – 220,000 barrels per day this year, according to S&P Global Platts estimates.
Differentials for the oil grade have lowered a little after Asian purchasing activity slowed down in the past week, traders said.
“Indeed things (differentials) seem to be easing … whether the qua accident catches anybody out unclear,” said a West African crude trader.
Qua Iboe was assessed at a premium of $0.10 to dated Brent on 11th December, a drop of 40 cents in the last two weeks according to data from S&P Global Platts.
Qua Iboe is a light sweet crude with a gravity of 36 API and sulphur content of 0.13%. The crude, which is produced from fields 20-40 miles away from the coast of southeast Nigeria, is brought to shore at the Qua Iboe terminal through a seabed pipeline system.
ExxonMobil holds a 40% interest in the field’s production while the NNPC owns the rest 60%.